BANGKOK – Apart from resolutions to be made by ASEAN leaders at the ASEAN Summit in November, the Thai government will take the opportunity to hold talks with the U.S. regarding the decision to revoke the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) treatment previously given to 573 Thai products.
The Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said today the revocation of GSP by the U.S. must be looked into to find the true cause, as Thailand will be making additional representations to persuade Washington to restore the benefits, as there have been cases of benefits restoration on seven items in the past. The decision to no longer grant GSP preferences also applies to some other ASEAN countries, thus the countries involved will seek to hold talks with the U.S. representatives at the ASEAN Summit.
He said however that Thailand will be looking to newer markets in the future, and asked the general public not to worry or connect this issue with others.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has held a talk with Charge d’Affaires Michael Heath, the acting U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, during his courtesy call after taking the acting ambassador’s position, where the U.S. diplomat has confirmed the matter is still up for further discussion as both countries have long enjoyed good relations. He added that both sides will seek an opportunity during the ASEAN Summit to resolve the issue.
The University of the Thai Chambers of Commerce’s Director of Center for Economic and Business Forecasting (CEBF), Thanawat Polvichai said today the discontinuation of GSP won’t cause a significant drawback on the export figure, as Thai exporters are likely to make the necessary adjustments and find replacement markets, as many export items from Thailand have been re-positioned to compete with innovations rather than pricing, especially among exports to the U.S.
He said the export sector will not be gravely affected and that the overall economic growth this year should achieve 2.8 percent growth, provided that the Bank of Thailand can regulate the Thai currency to keep it within appropriate margins, close to global competitors.